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Minor miracle up north
Jerry Kirshenbaum
December 11, 1978
Wayne Gretzky, 17, can't drink beer legally with his Edmonton Oiler teammates, but the youngest major leaguer is playing with the flair and finesse of an old pro
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December 11, 1978

Minor Miracle Up North

Wayne Gretzky, 17, can't drink beer legally with his Edmonton Oiler teammates, but the youngest major leaguer is playing with the flair and finesse of an old pro

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The following day Gretzky was still brooding about the missed breakaway. "In the juniors the goalie wouldn't have stopped that shot," he said, shaking his head. "The goaltending is better in the pros—that's the big difference." He brightened. "Otherwise, there isn't as much slashing and highsticking as there was in the juniors, and they let you play hockey more. I'm actually getting more opportunities than I ever did. In that way, playing here hasn't been that much of an adjustment." He was smiling now. "In fact, it's been pretty easy."

So far, that seems to be the story of the Great Gretzky's life.

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